Tuesday, September 30, 2008

By the Numbers...

My second installment in the monthly EtsyBloggers blog carnival had two topics to choose from: write about anything work related that is outside of Etsy or write about what you do to relax. Well, since making jewelry for our Etsy shop is part of what I do to relax, I chose to write about work. So, hang on, this is going to be so exciting! For the past 10 years I have been a CPA with a public accounting firm in Colorado (see, I told you it'd be exciting!). Ever since high school, accounting came easily to me so naturally I'd pick something that didn't require much effort to do! I went to college at Washburn University in Topeka, KS, and got a D in my first accounting class. Whoops! Change of plans! Of course it was due to a horrible instructor - seriously! I think it was his first and last class he taught but it turned me off of accounting so I majored in finance although I didn't like it and certainly wasn't going to manage other people's money in case they lost their investments such as what is happening today.

After a move to Colorado right after college and attempts at doing something in banking - I was too "qualified" for a teller because I had a college degree but not qualified enough for anything else because I had zero banking experience. I went to work in insurance and that was certainly not the place for me. Since we lived near Colorado State University, I decided to give accounting another try so I enrolled in their Masters degree program in accounting. Come to find out, if I had lasted past that first class back at Washburn, I would have discovered that I didn't like the "financial" accounting they teach at the undergrad level in preparation to become an auditor. It's boring and leads to numb butt! It was a struggle to continue at CSU and to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up until I took a tax class. Talk about being born to do something! I didn't even have to study at all because tax was fun and like second nature to me. I graduated with an M.S. in Tax and have been working as a tax accountant in public accounting ever since!

I started working at a local firm which then merged with a regional firm but then after four years I left with one of the partners when she started her own firm. For the last five years, I've been telecommuting to Colorado since we moved to Oregon. I prepare all of the business, non-profit, deferred compensation, estate and trust returns for our firm. Exciting huh?

During tax season I work 55+ hours a week but in the off season I work 24 hours a week which makes the long hours worth it I suppose. I also love being able to work from home with the furbabies and checking in on blogs from time to time in between tax returns. Anyway, that's what I do for my day job! Congratulations if you made it all the way through this post! I appreciate it!

19 comments:

Gandalf and Grayson said...

We made it all the way through! But that's because Mom loves bean-counting and bean-counters! She even use to date her CPA! Mom has had her own business for 22 years, and wishes she had gotten a degree in accounting, too!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Isn't it a good thing everyone doesn't like the same thing? I hate the tax part of accounting;)

And isn't it a shame that some people become teachers/professors? They can turn off good students so easily.
Marnie

Mishkat said...

I thought it was interesting! Thanks for sharing your experiences. And I am glad someone likes doing taxes - we need more people who really understand that part of finances.

By the way, I lived in Fort Collins from 93-95 - it's my favorite out of all the places I've lived (but unfortunately, I hear it's far more crowded now).

BeadedTail said...

gandalf and grayson - thanks for making it all the way through! I'm glad to hear that your mom loves bean counting! Since I do business taxes, I admire that your mom has had her own business for so long!

roses and lilacs - I do a lot of regular accounting since I have to adjust and fix the books in order to prepare a correct tax return but I certainly do prefer the tax aspect of it. And I totally agree about teachers/professors. I've had great ones but too many not so great.

mishkat - Fort Collins, and all of northern Colorado has grown beyond belief. We lived in Loveland from 1991-2003 and I was working and going to school in Fort Collins when you were there - small world!

LazyTcrochet said...

Oh I have someone to ask for help now! LOL I think accounting is something that I would have enjoyed, but never pursued.

maryeb said...

Accounting, taxes, anything with numbers gives me nightmares (truly).
I'm so grateful for people like you who love this work.
Now if you could just teach me to love numbers:)

DancingMooney ♥ said...

I had to drop out of accounting 101 when I was in college as well because the instructor and I just didn't think alike, and sign up for 102/103 which were more do it yourself, lab style classes... which worked much better for me. I still hate accounting, but I'm glad I took the classes, because they gave me a better understanding of running a business. That and working with quickbooks at a previous job and understanding all the ins and outs of the financial side of things.

One of these days I'd like to get in touch with you when I'm ready to become a 'real' business... but for now, I'm doing things on the sly... *cough*cough*

Janell

RainbowMom said...

Wow! I am soooo baaaad with numbers. Really bad. You work really really hard during tax season.. I admire that! :)

Panoptica said...

Wow... tax accountant... that's one of the professions I wouldn't have chosen but I admire deeply.

I study political science!!!

Tulip's Talking said...

Eessshhh! #'suck, especially in my shops.

So nice to love your work. And how wonderful and opportunity to have one company partner like your work (and you) well enough to take you along.

Just how far is the commute?

It that an older pix of Angel or do you have a new furbaby?

BeadedTail said...

I love all your reactions!

Yes, that is a baby picture of Angel. It was the day after we adopted her and she already found my calculator - she's so smart!

I telecommute every day to Colorado from my home office and physically travel there for a few days on each of the March 15th and April 15th deadlines and of course the tax year end party!

PurrPrints said...

Wow--I can't imagine finding taxes fun--that really does go to show that people can be born to do somethign I guess...my problem is the only thing I've found I really thrive at is PurrPrints, but with the economy the way it is it doesn't seem like a good idea to leap into that full time--lol.

Anyway, sorry, wandering o.t.--i like your blog carnival entry for this week :)

Mickey said...

That is a great post!It must be great to work at home as you are close to your kitties and you can work on your beautiful jewelry.

tahtimbo said...

Your first instructor sounds like the same one I had in California. It was a Managerial Accounting class, which started with 25 and by the time I dropped out (I was getting a D), there were only about 5 people left.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I have a full year of accounting classes under my belt! I loved it - then I took economics and wanted to shot myself and changed degrees...

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

Wow! I admire anyone who is good with numbers. I am just awful and have always struggled with math. It is so interesting to know what my favorite bloggers do!

joeyandaleethea said...

Cute cat! I initially went to college for Accounting but after my 101 class I dropped it and ended up building databases and writing programs in the financial sector of NY. In a CPA firm I worked in - it was owned by two partners - one was a Fin. Svcs. accountant, the other a Tax accountant - and the entire office was split in half, each half was like night and day. Th only thing they all had in common besides numbers was everyone there was a total workaholic - we had to be due to the nature of the firm - and whoa, busy season was especially nuts! I admire your love for that profession, I think it requires an extremely dedicated person.

Jen said...

great post! "tax was fun" -- something I would never say but I'm so glad that somebody else can! Numbers and I don't get along too well. (It's that English major thing, I guess) but variety is the spice of life, right? Thanks for sharing!

storybeader said...

wow - tax was fun?
isn't that a sketch - you couldn't get a better job in banking bec you didn't have the experience! How are you suppose to get experience, if they wouldn't work you? But then, everything turned out well. Wish you could be my accountant - I have to look for one, now that I started my business!